Brownback’s tax plan
Although I don’t often agree with Gov. Sam Brownback, I certainly do regarding his elimination of the home-mortgage deduction.
This should also be the case for federal tax policy, in conjunction with a tax-simplification initiative.
For example, how about a graduated flat tax with a maximum 35 percent tax for top earners?
The only remaining deduction should be for charitable contributions.
With apologies to the real estate and home-building industries, U.S. taxpayers should not subsidize your enterprises.
Some people’s American dream may not involve owning their own personal money pit.
Finally, regarding tax simplification, the only thing that Rep. Michele Bachmann has ever said with which I agree is that every American who earns money in our country and files a federal income tax return should pay something for the privilege of citizenship, if only a token amount.
Ted Steinmeyer Jr.
Crying wolf on weather
Three times during (thankfully) commercial breaks for the Oscars on Sunday night, KMBC Channel 9 meteorologist Bryan Busby broke in with “First Alert Weather” to alert us to … (big gasp) … nothing. Actually, he told us about a storm that wasn’t going to hit until Monday afternoon.
Did he need three alerts to tell us that there was nothing to be alert about until 3 p.m. the next day?
Channel 9, here’s an alert for you: By the time you cut off the last few minutes of the Oscars with your 10 o’clock evening news, I figured it was going to be more of what I’d heard three times already and turned off the television.
If there was other news, I missed it. Here are two assignments for the news crew at KMBC-Channel 9. First, look up the word “inane” and apply that to your “First Alerts.”
Then read “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”
Star’s tilt to the right
Recent letters to the editor claim The Star is too “left.” A Feb. 14 letter writer complained that news stories are slanted to the left and only leftist opinions and left-leaning letters to the editor are printed.
Funny, my husband thinks The Star is a right-wing rag. I always find plenty with which to agree and disagree.
On Feb. 14, for instance, the second editorial, “Pressure N. Korea financially,” gives a mildly approving nod to then-president George W. Bush’s handling of North Korea.
Among the overtly partisan letters, one gentleman claims Fox is the only television station that tells the “truth.” One letter writer is “fed up and tired” with the left-wing Star, and another writer warns that the tyrant “Obama’s socialist plan” is proceeding apace and the outcome won’t be pretty.
A third letter writer provides the only balance from the left.
The “What others are saying” segment contains an editorial from Dallas complaining that President Barack Obama is failing “to tackle the nation’s crushing debt.”
With Charles Krauthammer, Jonah Goldberg and E. Thomas McClanahan getting plenty of space, how can anyone claim The Star doesn’t represent conservatives?
Heck, maybe my husband is right.
Since Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal became public, the Livestrong Foundation has taken a huge hit. After Lance Armstrong admitted to Oprah Winfrey that he did in fact dope, Sporting Kansas City changed its stadium’s name from “Livestrong Park” to “Sporting Park.”
I oppose and am very disappointed in Sporting Kansas City’s decision because Livestrong shouldn’t take a hit for what Lance Armstrong did. This foundation provides support for many cancer survivors. Sporting Kansas City should have stood by Livestrong.
Although Nike dropped its endorsement with Lance Armstrong, it has also said that it plans to continue to support the Livestrong Foundation. I don’t think Sporting Kansas City would have been affected in any way if it had stood by Livestrong.
Scare on sequestration
First we have the man-made global climate change Chicken Littles and now we have the Sequestration Chicken Littles (2-24, A1, “Gear up for problems”). The article, which should have been on the opinion page and not the front page, talks about an $85 billion “cut” to a $3.6 trillion federal budget.
Of course there has not been a federal budget for nearly four years.
Do the math: the $85 billion represents 2.4 percent of $3.6 trillion.
This is not a cut in any way. The federal budget over the next 10 years with sequestration will grow by $2.4 trillion versus $2.5 trillion without sequestration.
In simple terms, this is an increase of $240 billion per year. So why can’t the government do what it did last year with $240 billion more this year?
This is all scare tactics to push for still more tax increases. If the different department managers can’t handle a 2.4 percent decrease in expected funding then they should all be fired. The world is not going to end on Friday, the federal government is not going to disappear and services will not cease unless the president deems it so.
We are just days away from the dreaded sequester and severe government spending cuts (2-24, A1, “Gear up for problems”). Really?
The sequester this year will cut less than 3 percent from some federal departments, and President Barack Obama and his cabinet are wringing their hands and claiming all manner of dire consequences. Instead of intelligently trying to manage a small cut in funds by cutting waste, overhead and marginal programs, they are making cuts that will do the most harm.
All of this is to score political points over a sequester that was devised by White House personnel. Instead, the president and his cabinet secretaries are flying all over the country telling us how bad it is going to be.
President Obama won the 2012 election. He should now stop campaigning and show some leadership.
Fix the U.S. budget
President Barack Obama is crying about sequestration, a process he asked for and promoted.
Now he is blaming members of the other party to avoid accepting responsibility for his actions.
The scare tactics and dire predictions, the reductions don’t merit speed-bump status. Using the numbers supplied in your article (2-24, A1, “Gear up for problems”), an $85 billion reduction in a budget of $3.6 trillion amounts to less than 2.5 percent. Would the president have us believe the cabinet secretaries he appointed are such inept managers that they can’t figure out how to deal with such a small reduction in funding?
Is it really necessary to employ scare tactics aimed at the most vulnerable segments of our society?
Mr. Obama wanted to be president.
He ran for the job. He won the job.
Would it be too much to ask for him to do his job and show some leadership?
A budget would be a nice start.
Mr. Obama and the mostly Republican opposition should stop focusing on political point-scoring and start focusing on real, long-term, solutions.
Obama, Sens. Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a little leadership, please.
Major League Baseball is mourning two of its greatest athletes with the recent passing of Earl Weaver and Stan Musial.
Both icons will be missed by their respective teams.
The year 1963 will always go down in history as Stan Musial played his final season — only to lose to the Dodgers for first place and then see the Dodgers sweep the Yankees in four straight to win the World Series.
If Stan Musial had played just one more year he would have been once again a World Series winner as the Cardinals beat the Yankees in the World Series 4-3.
Weaver, what can you say, “a funny but great manager.” Both will be sadly missed in Major League Baseball.
As gray-haired, arthritic retirees, we were not looking forward to shoveling the foot of snow off our steep driveway last week.
Fortunately, we have wonderful neighbors.
First the kids arrived (Ashley, Abby, Olivia, and Cody), volunteering to shovel us out. Later, their moms (Kim Owens and Jodi Andrews) arrived with a snowblower to finish the job, assisted by yet another great neighbor (John Stirling).
We are so lucky and thankful to have such great friends and neighbors.